Nintendo blocking Binding of Isaac from 3DS eShop

"Questionable religious content" keeping Meat Boy designer's downloadable game from arriving on Nintendo's portable online storefront.

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Nintendo has prohibited The Binding of Isaac from making its way to the 3DS eShop, according to tweets from the game's principal designer, Edmund McMillen.

The Binding of Isaac's religious content is keeping it from seeing release on the 3DS.

"After a long internal debate, Nintendo has decided not to allow the Binding of Isaac on the 3DS," McMillen wrote.

As for why the game was rejected for release on the system, McMillen noted that the game's M-for-Mature rating was not to blame, but rather its "questionable religious content."

In The Binding of Isaac, players control a child who must escape the clutches of his mother, who is out to kill him after the voice of God commands a sacrifice. For more on the religious themes in The Binding of Isaac, check out the game's opening sequence, embedded below.

For more on the title, check out GameSpot's review of The Binding of Isaac.

Discussion

208 comments
Poldek87
Poldek87

Reading stuff like this .......Assasin's Creed should be forbidden as well .........religion such a stupid thing ( we dont need it, its the main reason of most conflicts in history , the world would be better without it )

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

It's hard to take seriously a company that is afraid of offending a few fundamentalists who probably have no trouble bashing other people's beliefs.

sonichunter99
sonichunter99

I knew this comment section would devolve into a puddle of intellectually bankrupt goo... for the love of Mohammed, Jesus, Vishnu, Krishna, or whatever prophet, deity, or pantheon you prefer to throw your faith into, stop the arguing its insipid and childish not only that but would any of your gods or prophets want you to waste your time on the internet "defending" them?

zzanzabar
zzanzabar

@jmace1 I don't feel it is my 'duty' to control what others have access to, but I think I have a sense of personal responsibility to try and see things through someone else's eyes and be sensitive to what might offend them. But tell me, at what point should society 'step in'? Do you really think that all actions are 'self correcting'? i.e. If you don't like it and don't buy it, it will disappear and that will simply be the end of it? So a game based on the religious killing children is just 'freedom of speech' therefore why take any moral stand? Hey why stop there? I'm sure you can make rape, and child molestation a game and if people don't like it then they can simply 'not buy' it and it is ok. Look I'm not trying to step on anyone's freedoms, I'm just trying to kindle a sense of responsibility. The programmer of Binding Issac's response to Nintendo's reaction to their game was a simple "...thank god there is Steam", and at last count he has made millions from his game (almost half a million downloads at $5 a pop). Maybe he could rekindle Custer's Last Stand in a HD format, I'm sure he might make even more. (I just find it interesting that he steered away from Muhammad for his subject Muslims tend to me slightly more, shall we say...protective, of their religious icons).

Vodoo
Vodoo

@CyanideTonic... You can tell me God doesn't exist when you're crying in hell ;)

Nonameforreal
Nonameforreal

This game is hard but really fun so it is worth getting. Its humor is a little twisted and can appear crude to some but at times you can really feel that a lot of thinking and care has been given to this gave. A must try in my oppinion.

jmace1
jmace1

@hkgsgjholfjkpj You said, "any christian watchdog group noticed and were offended Nintendo might have a media firestorm (a la cod mw2/mass effect/mk).." Please refer to my post where I stated, "The Binding of Isaac is not some AAA, big budget title like GTA." Mass Effect and The Modern Warfare series are all big budget AAA titles. They will have huge ad campaigns some of the general public will be aware of the title. Even Mortal Kombat had a massive ad campaign that included having it's own theme song, "Reptile", made by the well known artist Skrillex. Again let me restate that The Binding of Isaac is an indie game developed by Team Meat which the general public was completely unaware of when it released months ago on PC. It doesn't have big ad campaigns, it doesn't have flashy graphics, the average casual gamer would find its gameplay unappealing and frustrating. Its release on the 3DS at the worst would spark a 5 minute long; 1 day controversy at Fox News.

Jebril
Jebril

You know regardless of what happens in a decision like this some people are gonna get pissed. On the internet the secular culture definitely wins out as we can see by the ratio of thumbs up and thumbs down, mostly because of the younger age generally involved especially with a site like Gamestop. In the real world, the religious culture wins out from older folks who have better jobs than the secular culture and are still more common than secularists. That being said, I really don't think this is a big deal, this doesn't mean Binding Of Issac won't be launched as a retail game, and this doesn't mean that you can't enjoy the game at all. If it truly affects you sell your NDS and stop buying Nintendo games, consumers can make companies do things if only they work together. People are weak minded and see themselves as 'only one individual' when all it takes is a couple thousand people to make a statement.

hkgsgjholfjkpj
hkgsgjholfjkpj

@jmace1 It is definitely a pr issue because if something is deemed controversial people will talk about it (you and I would not be talking if this very article was not posted) now if Nintendo were to publish this game and any christian watchdog group noticed and were offended Nintendo might have a media firestorm (a la cod mw2/mass effect/mk) especially since Nintendo has identified itself with the casual crowd over the past few years not to mention it's previous handhelds were created for children..add in a similar name that does not set this system apart from other iterations (in casual players eyes) and you've got a "Nintendo offers sacrilegious content to our nations kids" story...this is worsened by the fact that the views in country are polarized and due to all that Nintendo might have some possible consumer fall out.......is this likely to happen? not really... do I agree with the decision? no, but I can see why that decision was made. is the entire situation stupid? yes and I wish team meat good luck I've heard that the game is excellent.

BSEE10
BSEE10

@Gum_Shoe- You deduced that... "it has to do with religious content." with Science? ... ... ... You haven't read the title?

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

@redder1111 That is because religion IS a joke.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

Well... how extremely close-minded of Nintendo. Unless they plan to release it a month later, after everyone wants to play the "banned" game.

Gum_Shoe-
Gum_Shoe-

@BSEE10 Science BSEE, science!

Chaos_Dante_456
Chaos_Dante_456

Whether your religious or not I'd think a game where you play as a child trying to escape from being killed by his mother is a pretty messed up premise. There are some things that you don't use.There are still boundaries that shouldn't be crossed.

Spahettificator
Spahettificator

@Heirren I've played and completed the game. I would advise that people do the same before dismissing the game as "tasteless". Again, it is not saying anything bad about the religion. It is pointing out that there are people who use the religion as an excuse to do terrible things. How many people have killed other people because they heard a voice in their head telling them to? It is not condemning the whole religion if one of these people heard a voice and believed it to be the voice of God. You should especially watch the epilogue http://youtu.be/Z3WX7AN25oo which seems to suggest that it was not God that was speaking to his mother and that God in fact attempted to save him. Also, the whole game is not necessarily true as some endings seem to imply that a lot of it is in the imagination of Isaac.

jer_1
jer_1

Hah, what a joke Nintendo is. They will never gain back their long lost "hardcore" gamers at this rate... You guys n gals are blowing this way...way out of proportion. It's a funny game, the subject material in the game is even funny, lighten up. Don't forget the important part here...IT'S MADE FOR ADULTS!

Heirren
Heirren

@Spahettificator I disagree. Watch the trailer again. It really insinuates a negative connotation with the given religion. Now, it may not offend some, but it may offend others. Content like this can be deemed inappropriate, especially considering the e-shop as a delivery vessel. In this instant, there's no protective barrier, which parents have a right to, regardless of outside influence. Had it been a retail release, with an "M" rating, I suppose I MIGHT say it is alright--though still tasteless.

Vambran
Vambran

This game is a turn off for me. Not cause of Religious content but because your playing a freaking dead baby thing.

Spahettificator
Spahettificator

@Heirren It highlights the evil done in the name of God. The game never states that it is actually Gods voice. The mother just believes it is. I don't see how it is tasteless. It is not making light of the subject matter. It is extremely serious about how messed up it is for a mother to try to kill her child.

Heirren
Heirren

I disagreed upon reading the headline, but then once I had just a LISTEN to the video I agree with the decision. The only way to describe the plot is tasteless.

ghoward79
ghoward79

Remember the French Film festival banning a movie? they did, The passion of the Christ.

Sergsky
Sergsky

I understand why Nintendo are doing this. They would either upset rational people or irrational people. I think they rather upset rational people.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

By the way, quite funny to receive thumbs down by stating first hand knowledge I have for working in the industry. Well, so be it, believe what you want... :)

Naraic100
Naraic100

When people are willing to have a game banned to stay in their protective bubble of ignorance rather than actually live in the real world of free ideas and critiscisim, I dispair. People are always going to have ideas that clash with yours, deal with it. I personally despise Nick Griffin, but I can appreciate his views and I don't want him to be banned from the media for his ideas. The world has become too responsive to the overly sensitive and overly loud minorities.

deadkingdg
deadkingdg

Just bring it to XBL or PSN and I'll happily get it! They already have games such as Dante's Inferno, so I doubt Binding of Isaac would be any problem.

foxholeuk
foxholeuk

Ridiculous. Dogma, Legion, Constantine etc Films that are deemed acceptable. Supernatural is deemed acceptable. Darksiders acceptable. But this isnt?? Directors use movies and TV shows to show different depictions of religion in their own way and its fine but why cant a game developer do the same. Its just wrong. People want games to be taken as seriously as movies as an art form but at the same time limits what you can and cant say.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

And thus, Nintendo is bad. I've never harbored any undue ill will against the big N before, but they've made so many grave missteps that I simply can't ignore it anymore. Nintendo kinda sucks. They do some things well, but most things very poorly, and at this point there doesn't seem to be more than a few reasons to own any of their hardware (Wii or 3ds). I just don't know why I should view them in anything but a negative light at this point.

botsio
botsio

i think nintendo is doing the right thing.this game is religiously profane.it uses a similar story in the bible puts it out of context.not good at all!

sonichunter99
sonichunter99

how is this even considered offensive? theres tons of bloodshed in the bible to begin with.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@Gelugon_baat Good point in all of it. I think is was here where I read that the game may appear on PSN... though the guy was not very fond on console regulations, but who knows. The good thing about STEAM is that you don't require age rating for the game, but they phisical copy got a rating even in Germany We'll see what happens.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@Gelugon_baat Don't really think this is the case. Nintendo tries to be family friendly indeed, but this kind of guidelines generally apply to first and second party products distributed by them. He may be quite sure that the game would not pass, but It's also not strange that a company, knowing that, tries to submit a game just "to see what happens". In the remake of Splatterhouse, for instance, Namco was quite sure that the game would not pass Germany's USK approval but they tried anyway. So, knowing the industry as I know it, I don't believe they would have a debate with Nintendo just for pure publicity. I also find hard to believe that PETA's reaction was some kind of a conspiracy to advertise "super Meat Boy"

Micropixel
Micropixel

I am an Atheist. And I support Nintendo's decision here. People can be very irrational when it comes to religion. In some respects, it can be far more offensive to people than blood, guts and sex. Nintendo is doing the right thing here.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

*snickers smugly* Ah Nintendo, always so frightened of parents...after all most of your audience is little kids anyway...

calvinsora
calvinsora

I can fully understand the decision from a PR perspective. However, the reason is simply that humanity can be overbearingly, and irrationally, touchy. People have to be able to separate a game that on one hand criticizes fanaticism in religion (which exists and disgusts me at times) and on the other, a game that mocks religion itself, its ideas and agendas. The Binding of Isaac is so clearly the former that I cannot understand how any rational person could ever be insulted by the game. I'm religious myself (though far from to a level that many others are), and I'm not bothered one bit. It's a slippery slope when one institution can't be criticized without being censored.

c905492
c905492

To those who claim that the game is "making fun" of their beliefs - I wish that were the case, but sadly the game just echoes many real-life stories of parents who kill their own children because they claim to heard God talking to them. For example, http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-palmdale-woman-attempted-murder,0,3939586.story or http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1246784/Mother-killed-son-4-religious-sacrifice-just-days-released-psychiatric-ward.html (it doesn't take long to find many more of these). Perhaps these people are unhinged, or perhaps God really is talking to them - who can ever be sure ? Regardless, I think this is a cowardly decision by Nintendo. No idea, however unpleasant or "blasphemous", should be immune to criticism and ridicule.

CamoBullo
CamoBullo

@redder1111 Have you even PLAYED the game? It's not a mockery of religion, it's based off a religious tale, having the same name. Sure, it does mock some religious folk, but because they are absurdly gullible about their religion. You can't deny that some people are so dedicated to their deities that they would do anything (especially the Islam's). It begins and ends the same way as the tale it's based on. Please do research before making blind judgements. Also, calling this game crap either because you haven't played it or suck at it is really sad.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@redder1111 Now go and play the game to discover it actually does not "make fun" of it's religious stuff. And is the process discover why you failed so hard in your statement.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

Nintendo and their guidelines... always so strict, always causing some kind of problem one way or another -_-

slayerSS-3
slayerSS-3

@redder1111 You are missing the point here which is about being able to choose or not WHAT YOU WANT to buy You think this is a joke or controversial maybe it is maybe not i dont know but someone could think the same way about the things you like and with the same logic censor it(blocking it is the same) Does it sounds fair or right to you? What if I tell you that for me making games about war is disrespectful towards vets of war and I think is ok to block all of them, maybe I'm right maybe I'm wrong but you will pay the cost which is your freedom of choose what ever you want no matter what my opinion is or what should I think of it. Now you understand?

redder1111
redder1111

Oo! what an important game! I'm not a completely religious person but some people in the world think jerking and making fun with religions and human believes in God and other things like this are something like those funny chats after the sex with their partners. so, in your face mr McMillen. next time try to make better games than these pieces of crap!

CamoBullo
CamoBullo

Listen, I love Nintendo and I love The Binding of Isaac, so I don't mind either way. However, having TBoI blocked by Nintendo is actually a good move. You have to play the game to get why it's been blocked. Just play it and you'll see why. Alternatively, I want McMillen to try to get this on the PS Vita's online service. They should allow it.

ilikepandas
ilikepandas

@harndoogle Perhaps, but I think it's a good thing that we now live in a world where people are free to satirize anything without threat of being burned at the stake, stoned to death, or turned into a pillar of salt.

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

Nintendo gets its panties in a twist again.

harndoogle
harndoogle

Wow, after watching this trailer i can honestly say i applaud nintendo's decision. I had no idea what the game was about before, but man, talk about sacrilegious. I had considered buying super meat boy before, but I will never buy a game from this developer now. Its one thing to take something from the bible and use it for inspiration for a game, and something completely else to ridicule it. I never comment on these sites, In fact i haven't written here at gamespot for over 3 years, but I have to post and say i applaud nintendo move. This game makes me sick to my stomach. I takes what I believe to be sacred and makes complete fun of it. If you guys dont know what im talking about, its the story at the beginning of the bible, in the book of genesis. An amazing story, very powerful, though challenging as well. Will definitely make you question your beliefs.

grasshopper6
grasshopper6

wtf I don't follow any religion but i'm guessing this is about Christians and no i'm not atheist, this is some fk up sht